Nothing epitomizes summer like a sweet little frozen treat. Especially a sweat little treat that’s scooped right into a bright little orange. ♥ ☀
Two things make this the perfect summer treat to me.
1- I love sorbets… they’re sweet, refreshing, and even creamy, yet need no dairy whatsoever. Nothing screams summer like a cold fruity sorbet.
2- Food served inside food makes me happy. You likely already know this, based on the stuffed avo cups, stuffed squash bowls, and various stuffed vegetables smothering my blog. Food is the perfect vessel for food… nature’s perfect bowls. 🙂
The story on this treat: I’d once made orange dessert cups long long ago. I was 19, staring at a bowl full of oranges in my funky little Montana home. I saw ice cream in my freezer, and quickly went to town whipping up what I thought was a creative take on “homemade” ice cream at the time- I blended the ice cream with the orange flesh, stuffed it back into the oranges, and froze it all until I was too hungry to wait any longer. It was delicious (that was back when eating ice cream from the bin was an acceptable leisure activity to me. Shoot, it still is :/ … but my definition of “homemade” has evolved anyway!). Then, I somehow forgot about these dreamy orange ice cream cups I’d made… for 12 whole years! (Whoa, I’m oldering.) Suddenly though, just the other day, I found myself yet again staring at a large bowl of oranges- this time in my funky little California home. Those old orange cups instantly came to mind, and I began crafting my present version of “homemade” sorbet immediately (“homemade” has become healthified a bit as the years have passed- blending fruit with ice cream simply doesn’t cut it anymore haha). With no ice cream maker on hand (one day I’m getting one of those!), I got creative and came up with a version of sorbet that requires no machines or dairy whatsoever (I’ve been going more dairy-free these days… it’s part of my “oldering” and “healthifying” I suppose).
I’m a big fan of coconut milk, and always have a can on hand. That light stuff won’t cut it here… and in my opinion never should. I like the au natural full-fat stuff. For this, I scooped the cream off the top and used it only… I wanted an extra creamy sorbet. I recently was given a load of fresh berries, so popped a few bags in the freezer to keep around for days like this. Not only do blackberries add a nice flavor, but I knew they’d make the color a beautiful purplish-pink, too. When creating this recipe, I had a vision in mind, as I usually do… so I followed my instinct, and as strange as it may sound, added in some fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt to bring out the tartness even more. While I was skeptical at first, I’m really glad I did. The balance of sweet and tart is a really really good one. 😉
The rest is pretty standard… blend the flavors, freeze the stuff, dig in. The only part of this process that could be considered a bit tedious is the monitoring of the sorbet as it freezes throughout the day. You could, hypothetically, just throw it in the freezer and disappear for the day. Thing is, when you come back to serve it, you’ll have to let it thaw some, then stir, and fidget with it until it’s the texture you want. If you check it every so often during the freezing process instead, you can stir it as it freezes, creating the smooth texture you want along the way. Then when it’s the texture you like, boom, it’s done and ready to be devoured!
A few food bloggers and I recently got together for a beach day and afternoon BBQ (Arsy from Rubies & Radishes and Kristen from Living Loving Paleo… they’re the sweetest!). It was such a fun day. As you can imagine, we had a plethora of delicious food… it was a true Paleo feast! Lettuce-wrapped burgers, fruit salad, pesto zoodles (zucchini noodles), sweet potato salad, homemade condiments galore, and the list goes on. One of the things I brought was this prange sorbet treat. I was nervous… serving two amazing food bloggers a dessert I’d just invented was rather nerve-racking! But to my happy surprise, they both loved it and gobbled up seconds in a flash. So, since it’s blogger approved, I now feel extra confident posting it for you all to enjoy, too. 😉
If you’re wanting to make this ahead of time to bring to a potluck or BBQ feast, here’s my simple tip. Make the sorbet ahead of time, getting it to the texture you want. Freeze the orange cups, as well, but don’t fill them until you’re ready to eat. If you scoop the sorbet in the cups and then refreeze them, it’ll will turn hard as it freezes, but if you bust out the frozen cups and sorbet just when you’re ready to serve them, the sorbet will stay soft and creamy for your guests, perfect for eating! 🙂
Once it’s all made, you can keep it in the freezer for days… just thaw the sorbet until soft when you want it and dig in. While it’s not necessary, I high recommend serving these with fresh mint on top… the fresh greenery is a pretty contrast and adds a nice refreshing twist.
Want to get creative? Go ahead! Add in other berries, or a splash of pineapple juice if you’d like. Once you have the basic sorbet made, you can add and play around however you’d like. You can make it, taste it, and reblend it with whatever you want until it’s to your liking. See, it’s the perfect summer treat. 🙂
makes 8-10 servings
4-5 large oranges, seedless preferred (see note below)
1/2 cup frozen blackberries (I freeze fresh ones ahead of time)
1/2 cup coconut milk, not light
1 vanilla bean (1/8 tsp scraped)
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp honey (I use raw)
5 ice cubes
optional: mint leaves for garnish
*note: you need 3 cups orange juice for this recipe- adjust the number of oranges to produce 3 cups,
or alternatively, add orange juice, if needed
Begin by cleaning out the oranges…
Cut the oranges in half
Using a spoon, scoop all flesh and juice into a large bowl
Continue until all oranges are clean
Set the empty oranges aside for now…
Using your hands or a mesh strainer, squeeze out tas much juice as possible from the flesh
Discard any large pieces and pith (the bitter white stuff)
Some pulp is fine… you just don’t want any large chunks or stringies in there 🙂
Measure out the juice- you need 3 cups
Either keep juicing oranges or pour OJ in to make 3 cups worth
Scrape the vanilla bean using the flat side of a large knife- you want about 1/8 tsp
For coconut cream…
Open a can of coconut milk
Immediately, you’ll notice the top is super thick and creamy
Scoop 1/2 cup of the cream out- that’s the stuff you want for this
Save the remaining liquid for something else!
Add the orange juice, coconut milk, berries, lime juice, vanilla bean, salt, honey, and ice to a blender
I use my NutriBullet- it makes everything super creamy and smooth!!
(I have THIS one… I love it!)
Blend it until all is smooth, creamy, and liquidy
Pour the liquid into a shallow bowl or baking dish
Cover and place it in the freezer
To prepare the orange cups…
Carefully cut the bottom ends off of each orange to create a stable base, being careful not to cut too much-
just enough off so they can stand without wobbling 🙂
Lay the oranges on a small platter and place in the freezer until you’re ready to serve
After 2 hours…
After 3 hours…
A little longer…
And done! If it is too frozen, just let it thaw out a little before serving!!
Scoop the sorbet into the frozen orange cups, top with a mint leaf, and enjoy! 🙂
- 4-5 large oranges, seedless preferred (3 cups juice)
- ½ cup frozen blackberries (I freeze fresh ones ahead of time)
- ½ cup coconut milk, not light
- 1 vanilla bean (1/8 tsp scraped)
- ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 3 tbsp honey (I use raw)
- 5 ice cubes
- optional: mint leaves for garnish
- Cut the oranges in half and scoop out all of the juice and flesh. Discard any large chunks.
- Scoop the cream off the top of the coconut milk.
- Add the orange juice, coconut milk, vanilla, lime juice, salt, honey, berries, and ice to a blender (NutriBullet works well) and blend until smooth and liquidy.
- Pour the liquid into a shallow bowl or dish. Freeze several hours, stirring every so often to create a smooth even texture.
- Meanwhile, cut a small end of the orange halves to create a stable base. Freeze them until ready to serve.
- Scoop the sorbet into the orange cups and devour!